Top of the page
Pronunciation: me-SAL-a-meen/a-MEE-noe-sal-i-SIL-ik AS-id
Common Brand Name(s): Pentasa
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication is used to treat a certain bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). It helps to reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis such as diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and stomach pain. Mesalamine belongs to a class of drugs known as aminosalicylates. It works by decreasing swelling in the colon.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used for Crohn's disease.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 4 times daily. If you are taking the capsule form of this medication, you may take it with or without food. If you are taking the tablet form of this medication, take it with meals.
Swallow this medication whole. Do not crush, chew, or break. Doing so can keep the drug from being released properly into the colon. If you have trouble swallowing the capsule, you may open the capsule and sprinkle its contents on applesauce or yogurt before you take it. Swallow all of the drug/food mixture right away without chewing. Do not chew the mixture or prepare a supply in advance.
Drink plenty of fluids during treatment with this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor. This will help prevent kidney stones.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Diarrhea, headache, nausea, or vomiting may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Rarely, mesalamine can worsen ulcerative colitis. Tell your doctor right away if your symptoms worsen after starting this medication (such as increased abdominal pain/cramping, bloody diarrhea, fever).
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking mesalamine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other aminosalicylates (such as balsalazide, olsalazine); or to salicylates (such as aspirin, salsalate); or to sulfasalazine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun, especially if you have skin problems (such as atopic dermatitis, eczema). Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication is similar to aspirin. Children and teenagers younger than 18 years should not take aspirin or aspirin-related medications (such as salicylates) if they have chickenpox, flu, or any undiagnosed illness, or if they have recently received a vaccine. In these cases, taking aspirin increases the risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious illness.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
A product that may interact with this drug is:
Mesalamine is very similar to balsalazide, olsalazine, and sulfasalazine. Do not use medications containing balsalazide, olsalazine, or sulfasalazine while using mesalamine.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including urine normetanephrine levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Alberta residents can call PADIS (Poison and Drug Information Service) 24 hours a day at 1-800-332-1414. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: ringing in the ears, confusion, rapid breathing, seizures.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver/kidney function) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
If you have questions about missing a dose or you don't have more medication, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised November 2021.
Copyright(c) 2021 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.